An Idea Whose Time is Here: Term Limits ⋆ Politicrossing
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An Idea Whose Time is Here: Term Limits

Those elected to Congress in their 30s or 40s can end up serving for 30 to 40 years or more

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The science is settled! (as one party likes to say repeatedly). We’re living far longer and healthier than ever before. In 1900, the median age of Americans at the age of death was 49 years old. In 2018,  that figure had risen to above age 80.

As our life spans increase, no one thinks beans about dementia-free septuagenarians running for president, and soon enough, an octogenarian, someone in his or her 80s, will run for president, and such a candidate could win. That brings us to the issue of term limits.

When the Founding Fathers first drafted the Constitution setting out the ground rules as to who could be a senator or congressional representative, they couldn’t easily have foreseen the advanced life spans to which we have aspired.

For sure, Ben Franklin lived to be 84 years old, Thomas Jefferson 83, James Madison 85, and John Adams 90. However, they were anomalies for their era. George Washington only made it to 67. As late as 1970, life expectancy in the U.S. hovered at a fraction above age 70.

Swamp Things Who Refuse to Die

We’re faced with the current reality that congressional representatives and senators, elected in their 30s or 40s can end up serving for 30 to 40 years or more. We have a vile and vindictive Nancy Pelosi now 81; a man of spirits, Patrick Leahy, approaching 81; and “did we leak?”Dianne Feinstein, 87; all who should have been un-elected decades ago.

A few Republicans have served long as well; Chuck Grassley, 87, and Richard Shelby, 86, come to mind. In any case, serving more than 30 years in the Senate, indeed more than 24 years, and, it could be argued, more than 18 years, is probably way too much. The Founding Fathers did not envision congressional representation as a career, let alone, a lifetime avocation.

Seven-year senator Ted Kennedy, in a jurisdiction outside of Massachusetts, could have been convicted for manslaughter or at least leaving the scene of an accident and lying to county and city officials regarding the death of Mary Jo Kopechne. Yet, he served another 40 years in the Senate, for a total of 47 years.

A Big Push is Needed

A push for term limits is not going to happen under Biden, or whoever is running the show from the White House, and his cronies in the Senate and House of Representatives. Unfortunately, when the Trump administration had a GOP majority in the House and the Senate, it did not push for term limits. That would have been the most opportune time.

If a push for term limits were to magically happen, the first order of business would be to determine an appropriate term length for senators and representatives. I suggest three terms in the Senate, totaling 18 years.

I suggest six terms in the house totaling 12 years. Why the disparity? Senators, being lesser in number in most states, don’t run as often and need to generate influence during their tenure. Moreover, continuity of leadership seems vital in the senate.

In the House, congressional representatives are virtually running for office perpetually, so six elections is plenty. A limit of 12 years would eliminate maniacal leaders (hint: Nancy Pelosi, Adam Schiff, Maxine Waters, Eric Swalwell) from rising to the top and staying put decades past the time that they are already harming America.

Career Politicians Excluded

William F. Buckley once said something along the lines of, “I would sooner be governed by the first two thousand names in the Boston telephone directory than by the 2,000 members of the faculty of Harvard.” As corollary, I would sooner be governed by the first 2,000 names in any swing state city phone directory than by the 117th Congress.

An underlying problem with this or any congress, ever supporting a term limits amendment, is that whoever is in power at the time likely doesn’t want this amendment drive to proceed. For the good of the country, however, some patriots might proceed, recognizing that the strength of America, far into the future, is more important than their particular tenure.

Perhaps a Ted Cruz, Josh Hawley, Tim Scott, Tom Cotton, or Marsha Blackburn would be strong vocal proponents, especially if and when they knew that a sound approach to governing was in place. Thankfully, a group called U.S. Term Limits is seeking to initiate a convention under Article V of the U.S. Constitution, to propose a term limits amendment for the U.S. House and Senate.

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Jeff Davidson is the world's only holder of the title "The Work-Life Balance Expert®" as awarded by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. He is the premier thought leader on work-life balance, integration, and harmony. Jeff speaks to organizations that seek to enhance their overall productivity by improving the effectiveness of their people. He is the author of Breathing Space, Simpler Living, Dial it Down, and Everyday Project Management. Visit www.BreathingSpace.com for more information on Jeff's keynote speeches and seminars, including: Managing the Pace with Grace® * Achieving Work-Life Balance™ * Managing Information and Communication Overload®



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Education

Make Universities Accountable for Predatory Student Loan Abuse

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The Biden administration is still talking about delivering on the President’s promise to relieve student loan debt for many Americans. There is continuing discussion on how much debt should be forgiven, how to pay for it, and whether it is fair to all those who have diligently and painfully worked to already pay off their own student loans. After all, if you’re going to eliminate student debt to buy votes, why just limit it to student debt?

Unfortunately for Biden, according to numerous sources including National Review, the executive branch has no generalized power to forgive any amount of student debt. Even Nancy Pelosi confirmed simply that “the president can’t do it. That’s not even a discussion.” The Department of Education came to the same verdict, determining that the executive branch “does not have the statutory authority to cancel, compromise, discharge, or forgive, on a blanket or mass basis, principal balances of student loans, and/or to materially modify the repayment amounts or terms thereof.”

Of course, even if he had the authority, forgiving student debt doesn’t make the debt go away. Reality has a way of breaking into such “freeloading” dreams. It’s pay me now, or somebody else pay me later. But why should some future taxpayer pay off anyone else’s student debt?

Whatever happened to wise warnings of “student beware.” When you get an education and agree to pay the tuition, you ought to realize that you must at some point pay for that education. You signed on the bottom line. Face your real-world responsibilities. Hopefully, you picked a degree major that will ensure a career capable of paying off your loans. Students clearly have some responsibility, but what about the universities that took advantage of the money coming from those loans?

Trending on PolitiCrossing.com: Tucker: This is a coordinated attack on the family

After all, there is ample evidence that student tuitions exploded far faster than inflation when government funds became readily available for student loans. Complaints of excessive tuition increases by students trapped in their programs tended to be met with a less than caring response—pound sand!

Since 2008, the tuition cost or a four-year college degree has increased nearly 25%. In that same period, student debt has doubled, increasing by 107%. 2015 study found that a dollar of subsidized student loans results in a published tuition increase of 58 cents at a typical university, An NBER paper suggests that changes to federal student loans are more than sufficient to explain tuition increases at private nonprofit colleges. And a 2014 study found that for-profit colleges eligible for federal student aid charged tuition 78% higher than that of similar but aid-ineligible institutions.

In short, there is no doubt that tuition was rising faster than the inflation level. Evidence has been clear for decades. In 1987, Secretary of Education William J. Bennett argued that “increases in financial aid in recent years have enabled colleges and universities to raise their tuition, confident that Federal loan subsidies would help cushion the increase.”

Bennett pointed out in 1987 that federal student aid had risen 57 percent since 1980, while inflation had been 26 percent. A 2020 analysis by the Congressional Budget Office brought the numbers up to date: “Between 1995 and 2017, the balance of outstanding federal student loan debt increased more than sevenfold, from $187 billion to $1.4 trillion (in 2017 dollars).” What is the lesson? The more federal aid to students is available colleges raise tuition more. Salaries rise and bureaucracies expand. There are more courses, more dorms, dining halls, lavish recreational centers, and more money for endowments.

Far too many students find that once they begin their education, their schools raise the tuition at such a high rate that their debt explodes. The university builds their endowment, and the “trapped” student is compelled to finish what they started at a cost they did not expect to have to pay. In such a situation, should not the university be responsible for any increased cost above the increase in cost of living during the same time? It’s time for universities to take responsibility for their share of student debt.

The universities that benefited from these loans should have a part in footing the bill. That means universities that raked in millions to inflate endowments should be holding the bag for those who can’t afford to pay their loans. With universities holding hundreds of billions of dollars in tax-free endowments, any government program to relieve student debt should be completely dependent on taxing those university endowments.

It’s time to counter the Democrats’ vote-buying scheme by making lasting changes to the student loan process. That means putting universities on the hook for their predatory behavior. That will go much further than a temporary payoff that does nothing to solve what is causing the problem.

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News

Tucker: Why are they so angry?

There’s no Constitutional requirement to have respect for anybody in the US government. In fact, in a free country you are encouraged to disagree. You are a citizen, you have that inherent right. But, no more.

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Tucker gives an extended list of several people who were arrested or had their homes raided, without explanation, for no crime. Highlights include:

“Why have a political debate when you can just arrest people who disagree with you? And that has happened, far below the media radar since the day Joe Biden was elected, and tonight we want to show you … a litany, a list of Americans who have been arrested, detained by federal law enforcement on the orders of the Biden administration, not because they committed recognizable crimes but because they disagreed with the political aims of the Biden administration.”

“Ooh, Trumps a fascist, remember that? Did Trump’s DOJ raid the homes of a lot of journalists who embarrassed his children? No, you don’t remember that, because it didn’t happen. But Joe Biden’s justice department has done that, and then they kept going.”

“We don’t arrest people for ignoring congressional subpoenas, especially when they cite executive privilege, a principal that has a long history in American history, so no, we’ve never done that, but we can do it now because it was ‘an insurrection’, an insurrection that wasn’t armed, wasn’t planned, it didn’t actually insurrect anything, but it was still an insurrection. Now you’re beginning to see why it’s been so important from the very first day for the media to describe what happened on January 6 not as a riot, but as an insurrection, because if it’s an insurrection, they can violate your civil rights.”

“So, a decade ago the Obama administration was caught sending automatic weapons to Mexican drug cartels and Congress wanted to know more about this. Eric Holder, then the attorney general, had a key role in this, ‘operation fast and furious’, you may remember it. So, they subpoena’d him, and he ignored the subpoena, and the media applauded, he was taking a noble position. But when Steve Bannon or Peter Navarro tried to do something like that, they went to jail. Again, we had this exact same thing happen in public ten years ago. A federal judge ruled that Holder’s privilege claim was not legitimate, and he was still never arrested, but the rules have changed. Why is that?”

“There’s no Constitutional requirement to have respect for anybody in the US government. In fact, in a free country you are encouraged to disagree. You are a citizen, you have that inherent right. But, no more. The media think you should be sent to jail if you show disrespect, and so of course, with no media to push back against unconstitutional overreach, the justice department kept going.”

Watch the video below and feel free to exercise your right to free speech in the comments.

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